Batting great Javed Miandad does not believe that the absence of captain Babar Azam due to injury should affect Pakistan’s chances of doing well in the upcoming T20 International series in New Zealand.
The 26-year-old Azam, captain in all three formats, has been ruled out of the T20I series beginning on Friday in Auckland after suffering a thumb fracture during a practice session.
“This is sports and life goes on. Even if a great is missing in a team, others have to step up and take responsibility. It should not be an excuse for not performing well,” Miandad said in an interview.
“Imran Khan or Javed Miandad did not win the 1992 World Cup for Pakistan single-handedly, it was a collective team effort that brought us that glory,” said the former captain.
Miandad, who played 124 Tests between 1976 and 1993, said obviously when a top batsman is not available it does make a difference but how other players respond to the challenge will show the character of the team.
“Babar’s absence should not haunt the team. No doubt, he is our best player at the moment but the team should not come under pressure as there are 11 players in the team who should stand up and be counted in the coming series,” he said.
Miandad said New Zealand will not be an easy side because “they have improved a lot in recent years as a team”.
“They have always been difficult to beat at home. But we also have some good players who should collectively get together and give their best. I think we can win the series if the selected players play fearless and sensible cricket and don’t come under pressure.”